Mark  14:1-25

  1. Verse 1-9. What some said about the value of the ointment and the need of the poor was perfectly true.
    Why then did Jesus commend Mary for her extravagance?
    What does this incident teach us about right priorities in Christian service?
  2. Verses 10-21. What do these verses suggest was the motive that lay behind Judas’ act of betrayal?
    Is our own attitude one of condemnation, or are we prepared to share the solemn heart-searching of verse 19?
  3. verse 22-25. Consider the use here of the words ‘bread’, ‘blood’, ‘my’, ‘gave’, ‘take’, ‘dark’, ‘covenant’. What light do they throw on the nature and method of salvation?
    Cf. 1 Pet. 1:18,19.

Notes

  1. Verses 8,9. ‘Note Jesus’ remarkable prediction of the future worldwide preaching of ‘the gospel’; cf. 13:10. There was in the woman’s action a recognition both of the unique person and of the impending work of Jesus; and these are both essential gospel truths.
  2. Verse 22. The expression ‘This is my body’ corresponds to the Passover formula, ‘This is the bread of affliction which our fathers ate in the land of affliction’.
    It indicates a symbolical commemoration, not an actual ‘transubstantiation’.

Mark 13:24-37

  1. Among the many puzzling details of this passage concerning the coming of the Son of man, what are the facts about which we can be certain?
    What particular error do we need to avoid?
  2. If we are expecting Christ to return, what difference should this make to the way we live our lives, and why? Cf. 2 Pet. 3:10a, 11b, 14.

Notes

  1. Verses 24, 25. The phraseology may, as in the Old Testament, symbolize national and international upheavals. Cf. Is. 13:10; 34:4; Ezek. 32:7, etc.
  2. Verses 33-37. ‘Watch’: i.e., be wakeful and alert.

Mark 13:1-23

  1. Verses 1-13. Notice how Christ translates the abstract enquiry of his disciples into the personal and moral realm.
    What spiritual dangers does he warn them about?
    How can we prepare ourselves to meet similar dangers?
  2. Verses 14-23. What is foretold here?
    How are Christ’s followers to act when it happens?
    To whom are they to look for deliverance?
    Of what are they to beware?
    What can we learn from such a passage concerning God’s sovereignty and man’s responsibility?

Notes.

  1. Verse 14. ‘The desolating sacrilege’: this is the sign of the impending destruction of the temple for which the disciples had asked (verses 1-4).
    It refers to the desecration of the holy place by Roman invaders. Cf. Dan. 11:31.
  2. Verse 15. ‘On the roof of the house’:
    the flat roofs of houses in Palestine were used for places of rest and social intercourse.
    Cf. Acts 10.9.

Mark 12:28-44

  1. Verses 28-34. Jesus pronounced this scribe to be ‘not far from the kingdom of God’.
    What would he have needed to do to enter in?
  2. Verses 41-44. Jesus did not deny that the rich gave much, but merely stated that the widow had given more. What does this teach us about the way God measures our giving?
    How do we match up to this standard?
    Cf. 2 Cor. 8:12; 9:7.
  3. The scribes undoubtedly had an intellectual mastery of Scripture and they professed to accept its authority without question.
    Why then did Christ condemn them and in what way is this a warning to us?
    Cf. Luke 12:47, 48.

Mark 12:1-27

  1. Vv 1-12.  [The Parable of the Tenants]
    How does this parable clarify Christ’s unique position in relation both to God and to the prophets?
    What does it teach us:
    (a) about the character of the motives that lay behind his final rejection, and
    (b) about his own expectation of vindication and victory?
  2. Vv 13-17. [Paying Taxes to Caesar]
    How does this incident reveal both the wisdom of Christ and the insincerity of his questioners?
    What important truth was Jesus trying to convey to his questioners?
    What important truth is Jesus conveying to us? (Cf. Rom. 13:1-2, 6-7)
  3. Vv 18-27. [The Reurrection life]
    The Sadducees were obviously attempting to make spiritual truth look ridiculous by interpreting it with the grossest of literalness.
    How does Christ show them their mistake?
    On what grounds does he base the certainty of the resurrection?

Note.
Vv 1-12. Since the Lord was obviously using Isaiah 5:1-7 as an Old Testament backcloth for this parable, his hearers would know that he was referring to Israel, and that this was yet another parable of judgment.
See Mark [TNTC], pp. 258-261.

Mark 11:20-33

  1. Verses 20-25. What does Jesus here are the essential conditions of effective prayer?
    What more does prayer involve apart from just asking for pleasant things we desire?
    Cf. Mark 14:35, 36.
  2. Why did Jesus refuse to answer the question put to him by the Jewish leaders?
    What was the point of his question to them?
    Was he trying to be evasive?
    What was the root of the trouble, and how is this a warning to us?
    Cf. Heb. 3:12.

Note. Verse 25. ‘Unless we forgive our fellow freely, it shows that we have no consciousness of the grace that we ourselves have received, and so it shows that we are expecting to be heard on our own merits’ (see Mark [TNTC], p. 256).

Mark 11:1-19

  1. What truths concerning our Lord’s person are specially evident in the incidents described here?
    Jesus had previously refrained from publicly declaring his Messiahship.
    See 3:11, 12; 8:30; 9:9.
    Why then did he declare it now?
  2. Verses 1-6. When the two disciples were sent out by the Lord on this special errand, in what were they put to test, and how would they benefit from the experience?
    DO we display the same faith and boldness in our service for Christ?
  3. In what way does the fig tree described here typify Israel as a nation?
    What was Jesus seeking to teach his disciples from this acted parable?
    Before passing judgment, ought we not first to search our own hearts?
    Cf. Rom.11:20, 21.

Note. Verse 13. ‘It was not the season for figs’. It is fair to presume that the Lord was looking for the small early ripe figs that ripen with the leaves before the main crop.